Not having enough sleep can have a damaging effect on your health and vitality. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an undesirable feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So you were aghast when your loss of hearing started making you lose sleep.
And that’s understandable. The good news is, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. Based on the latest surveys and research, these tiny devices can likely help you sleep sounder.
How is Sleep Affected by Hearing Loss?
Despite the fact that you feel fatigued all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard time falling asleep. All of these problems began around the same time you also began to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.
Turns out, you’re not imagining things. There is a well-documented connection between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t completely clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. As a result of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes harder.
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping sounds in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get input that isn’t there. Your whole cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get your brain to shut off).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid wearers described feeling fulfilled with their sleep, in comparison to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So does that mean it’s safe to assume hearing assistance devices are also a kind of sleep aid?
Not exactly. If you don’t have hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage several concerns that could be contributing to your insomnia:
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, interacting with the people in your social sphere, you’re less likely to feel isolated and depressed. Hearing aids make building relationships easier (sleep cycle issues that cause “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be a practical treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help you get to sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
- Strain: The strain on your brain will essentially decreased by using hearing aids. And your brain won’t be as likely to strain while falling asleep if it isn’t struggling all of the rest of the time.
Getting Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids
It isn’t just how many hours you sleep that’s relevant here. To be sure that your sleep can be really refreshing, it’s important that you achieve a certain degree to your z’s. Hearing aids can improve your ability to get a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s worthwhile to note that hearing aids are not typically meant to be used while you sleep. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re sleeping (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock better). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out faster if you use them during the night. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you achieve better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is precious. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be benefited by ample sleep. Healthy sleep habits have even been connected to lower risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your hearing loss, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can often cause serious health problems. Fortunately, most surveys report that people with hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.